**ERIC Number:**EJ926901

**Record Type:**Journal

**Publication Date:**2011-Mar

**Pages:**2

**Abstractor:**As Provided

**ISBN:**N/A

**ISSN:**ISSN-0031-921X

Large General Purpose Frame for Studying Force Vectors

Heid, Christy; Rampolla, Donald

Physics Teacher, v49 n3 p156-157 Mar 2011

Many illustrations and problems on the vector nature of forces have weights and forces in a vertical plane. One of the common devices for studying the vector nature of forces is a horizontal "force table," in which forces are produced by weights hanging vertically and transmitted to cords in a horizontal plane. Because some students have difficulty relating the geometry of the textbook illustrations with weights in a vertical plane to the horizontal geometry of a force table, we developed a vertical force frame, shown in Figs. 1 and 2, that allows a vertical arrangement of weights and cords that mimics exactly the textbook illustrations, and is on a scale that makes it easy for the students to "feel" the magnitudes of forces. This frame is easy to build, inexpensive, and provides a working area of almost 5 ft x 5 ft (1.8 m x 1.8 m) and a number of alternative ways of working with forces. This frame can also be easily expanded to an area of 10 ft x 5 ft (3.6 m x 1.8 m) for large complex configurations. The frame is easy to assemble or disassemble using only a VSR drill and deck screws, and stores compactly. Students can gain engineering skills by assembling the frame guided by schematic drawings.

Descriptors: Textbooks, Illustrations, Geometry, Physics, Science Instruction, Scientific Concepts, Scientific Principles, Demonstrations (Educational), Science Experiments

American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail: pubs@aapt.org; Web site: http://scitation.aip.org/tpt

**Publication Type:**Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive

**Education Level:**N/A

**Audience:**Teachers

**Language:**English

**Sponsor:**N/A

**Authoring Institution:**N/A